BMW to invest $900 million in U.S. plant to build the X4 image

BMW has announced plans to invest almost $900 million and add 300 jobs at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it will build the X4 crossover.

The German carmaker wants to boost U.S. annual production to 350,000 units in the mid-term. “This is in response to rising global demand for our BMW X models and the expansion of the BMW X family to include the BMW X4,” BMW production president Frank-Peter Arndt said in a statement. The X4 would be the fifth SUV in BMW’s range. The Spartanburg plant already makes three SUVs: the X3, X5 and X6 models. The brand’s smallest SUV, the X1, is built in Leipzig, Germany.

The X4 would be the fifth model in the BMW brand’s SUV range. Three of the automaker’s four X models already are produced in Spartanburg, while the BMW X1, the smallest in the range, is built in Leipzig, Germany. According to BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer, the X4 will fill the gap between the X3 and X6 models.

The car is expected to launch in 2013 and will ressemble the larger X6, as it will have a coupe styling with a lower roofline. BMW built 276,065 cars in Spartanburg in 2011, an impressive 73 percent increase over 2010. 70 percent of cars made in the South Carolina plant are exported.